Southeast’s Provost Dr. Wheeler Conover honored by University of the Cumberlands in recent publication

Wheeler ConoverDr. Wheeler Conover, professor and chief academic officer of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, has been honored by his alma mater, the University of the Cumberlands, as one of that school’s most effective and successful graduates. A profile on Conover, a student at the Cumberlands from 1983 to 1987, is featured in a special edition publication commemorating the university’s 125thth anniversary. The book, slated to be released in the next few weeks, is produced by the University of the Cumberlands’ Alumni Affairs Office. The volume features 125 individuals who have made a lasting impact in their fields of study.

Conover, a native of Manchester, earned a degree in chemistry from the Cumberlands and a master’s from the University of Tennessee, with a doctorate from the University of Cincinnati.

He has been affiliated with Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College since 1996, beginning as an instructor of chemistry. He eventually worked his way to becoming the division chairman of natural sciences and mathematics before being promoted to chief academic officer in 2005.

He said he is humbled by news of his inclusion in the book, noting: “It is hard for me to believe through the institution’s 125 years of service they would select me. It is truly an honor to be included along with the others who are certainly deserving of the recognition. Cumberlands was such a wonderful place for me to get my undergraduate education, and it gave me the solid foundation needed to become a scientist, while also shaping me as a person. I have carried with me the many friendships made and experiences gathered while a student there,” he said. “Cumberlands was a wonderful experience for me; I am glad I had the chance to enjoy the experience to study there!”

The University of the Cumberlands was founded as the Williamsburg Institute and became Cumberland College in 1959 when it became a four-year college. Today, it serves several thousand students from throughout Kentucky as well as attracting scholars from across the nation and the world.

In addition to Conover’s inclusion in the book, SKCTC Professor Dr. Roger Noe and the college’s former President Dr. Vivian Blevins, have also been listed in the publication. Noe, of Harlan, has been associated with SKCTC since 1973 where he teaches courses in psychology. Moreover, Noe served 14 years in the Kentucky House of Representative, serving seven of those years as chairman of the educaton committee. He also played a key role in getting the Kentucky Education Reform Act implemented.

Dr. Blevins, a native of Cumberland, served as the SKCTC president from 1983 until 1987. She was the first woman to head a community college within the University of Kentucky’s statewide system.